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  #1  
Old 10-31-2008
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Boating, Passagemaking, and Licensing

I think many of us have been following the adventures of Ronnie. If not, take a peek at this thread: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/genera...scued-sea.html

We have discussed licensing on this board many times. I bring it up again now as this is a perfect example of leaving the shore unprepared and not equipped for the passage ahead. I have read many threads lately on this board and get the feeling that some people wake up one day, decide to sail around the world, purchase something that floats... and are on their way. Either they are too ignorant of the sea or do not care about the potential impacts on life, possessions, or money to take the time to be a responsible boater. In essense, they could care less about seamanship.

Some of these people make it. Fortune smiled on them. Some are killed. The others rely on the technologies of today (EPIRB, for example) for someone to come and save them. It is these people that primarily concern me.

I for one have weighed the whole licensing issue for some time and have finally come to the conclusion that it is warranted. I think the licensing should be based upon length/tonnage. I feel it should include PWC and bass boats and ski boats. They are not immune from being killed by the water.

I realize many of you dissagree with this as you are likely those that have taken the time to apprecaite the sea. You value seamanship. You realize your lack of preparation or education can kill yourself or others. However, there are many people that do not and will never care unless forced to take some responbsibility for their actions. I feel a license is that first step. You cannot fly a plane without a license. You should not be able to drive a boat without a license. Is a plane really that much more dangerous that it should require a license while a boat should not? I do not think so.

THoughts?

- CD
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2008
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Please please please do not invite the government to involve itself into more areas of our lives.
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Old 10-31-2008
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And unlike a plane, a boat is not going to fall from the sky and land on an otherwise un-involved person or their property. So the comparison is not entirely apples to apples.
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Old 10-31-2008
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Unfortunately, the government is not well suited to judging who is and isn't capable of boating safely, and as such will tend to set the bar fairly low. Unless all of the fees from the boater licensing process are going to improving waterway infrastructure and safety... I'm really not in favor of wasting more money on the government.

As for the comparison of a plane to a boat... planes always fall out of the sky if the fuel runs out or you do something majorly wrong. Boats do not always sink, nor do they always hit someone else... comparing a boat, especially a sailboat, which generally has a relatively low top speed, to a plane is sheer fallacy. With the exception of multihulls and some of the larger boats, like GUI's, most of the sailboats found out there are going to be lucky to get up past seven or eight knots... Not exactly fast enough to be a menace in most cases.

Licensing and mandatory education for powerboats, which have the ability to get up to ridiculous speeds, where control and skill is a factor, especially on things like PWC, would make far more sense.

When was the last time you heard of a fatality involving a speedboat and a sailboat, where the sailboat killed someone on the powerboat and the sailboat was at fault???
—Never, at least as far as I've heard.

When was the last time you heard about a powerboat killing someone on a sailboat, where the powerboat was at fault—Clear Lake, Ca; Buzzards Bay, MA; etc.. that's far too common.
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.

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Licensing doesn't work with cars and it won't work with boats. The old line, being certified does not mean you are qualified. If this was untrue then the death rate of teenage drivers would not be the highest in percentages.

Some people buckle up and some people don't, but when they get into a crash they both call 911.

That being said, I am all for more boating education as I feel it is the only way things will get better and safer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by painkiller View Post
And unlike a plane, a boat is not going to fall from the sky and land on an otherwise un-involved person or their property. So the comparison is not entirely apples to apples.
REALLY?

It can happen
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Old 10-31-2008
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Maybe it's not sail-boating that should be licensed, but EPIRB's.
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Yeah. I can explain it to you if you'd like. Shouldn't take but a minute. ;-)

Last edited by painkiller; 10-31-2008 at 01:07 PM. Reason: Forgot the smiley again.
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Yeah. I can explain it to you if you'd like. Shouldn't take but a minute.
Please do!
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Old 10-31-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by painkiller View Post
And unlike a plane, a boat is not going to fall from the sky and land on an otherwise un-involved person or their property. So the comparison is not entirely apples to apples.
It may not fall from the sky, but it can sure sink quickly. That makes it dangerous. You can make someone else sink quickly. As such, you are a liability to others. Also, most planes can, in theory when there is an emergency, find a place to land. That may or may not save them. When at sea, in an emergency, you cannot simply find a safe port.

I do not find comparing cars to boats apples to apples at all. Cars do not sink. Cars do not get beyond a safe port. When your car gets a hole in it, you can get out and walk. In general, you cannot swim back from a boat.

- CD
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